Special Events

'REEL' FUN

GOING TO THE movies is like attending a special event: The viewer (or attendee) takes a journey to another time and place, meets new and exciting people, and forgets his or her worries for a few precious hours. With that in mind when it came time to create a star-studded event for a corporate client, Party By Design, a Boston-based event design company, and Conventures, a Boston-based event planning firm, eschewed the expected Hollywood theme, opting instead to treat guests to a night at the movies-a quadruple feature, to be exact.

The event's venue-the Boston World Trade Center-afforded the designers plenty of room in which to create their movie worlds. The event entrance was designed to look like the exterior of a theater, with a stanchioned walkway and the company's corporate logo glowing from a marquee. Inside, the smell of popcorn and the gurgle of a soda fountain told guests they had entered the lobby, which was outfitted with a snack bar buffet, couches and "Coming Soon" framed movie posters. From there, guests entered the "Movie Effects Room" for a behind-the-scenes look at the evening's featured films-Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Casablanca and Saturday Night Fever. Props, film reels, crates and cameras enhanced this area. From there, guests could enter one of the four movies.

"Jurassic Park," which was surrounded by chain-link fence and barbed wire, featured the requisite dinosaurs, Jeeps and scientists. "Star Wars" featured a "bridge," where guests could sit to watch enemy ships blaze by. A fiber-optic curtain draped around the perimeter of this space suggested outer space, as did the planets that were suspended from the ceiling. Moorish arches designated the entrance to "Casablanca," where rattan chairs, ceiling fans and potted palms re-created Rick's Cafe Americain.

A disco beat heralded the "Saturday Night Fever" area, where guests received hand stamps before gaining admission. Silver curtains, mirrored walls, raised dance platforms and strobe lights transformed the space into a 1970s discotheque. There, a dance contest, not unlike the one featured in the classic John Travolta movie, had guests entertained well into the night. Burn, baby, burn!-S.C.

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